TOURNAMENT   RULES 

Tournament Divisions

The tournament will be divided into 2 flights; Birth Year and Grade Based. The Birth Year flight will include teams U9-U14, separated into 6 divisions by level. The Grade Based flight will include grades 3-8, paired into appropriate divisions in accordance to their teams grade. Teams are invited to apply for a particular division based on their level of play, but all final decisions and placements will be made by the Tournament Committee. The Commonwealth Soccer Classic divisions are listed as follows:

 

Birth Year Teams:

U9

U10

U11

U12

U13

U14

 

Grade Based Teams*:

Grades 3-4

Grades 5-6

Grades 7-8

 

 

*If you’re registering a team from the Roots Youth Soccer League or Pioneer Valley Junior Soccer League please select the age group that matches your team’s grade year (PVJSL & RYSL do not have combined grade teams). We will do our best to make sure all teams competing in the divisions are similar in grade.

Roster Rules/Restrictions

11v11 teams may carry up to 18 eligible players on their roster including up to 3 guests. 9v9 teams may carry up to 16 eligible players on their roster including up to 3 guests. 7v7 teams may carry up to 12 eligible players on their roster including up to 3 guests.  Eligibility is based on amateur and age status. Coaches are responsible for verifying and certifying their players’ amateur status. An on-line roster along with a player identification card or picture ID, or a birth certificate and picture ID will be used to verify each player’s age both at Team Check-in prior to the team’s first tournament game. The tournament reserves the right to spot check team rosters throughout the tournament weekend.  Age requirements are as follows:


BIRTH YEAR TEAMS (S1, S2, S3, S4)

14 and Under Born on/after 1/1/2005

13 and Under Born on/after 1/1/2006

12 and Under Born on/after 1/1/2007

11 and Under Born on/after 1/1/2008

10 and Under Born on/after 1/1/2009

9 and Under Born on/after 1/1/2010

 

SELECT TEAMS

(teams formed by a selection or tryout process):

S1: generally a team which competes at the highest level of play in a state or region

S2: generally a team which competes at other than the highest level of play in a state or region

S3: generally a team which competes in a local area or state

 

TOURNAMENT SELECT TEAMS

S4: a team which is put together for the sole purpose of playing in a tournament or other sanctioned non-league competition, whose roster includes select players who are members of one club.

The club division will have six age groups (U9-14)

 

GRADE – Town Teams (RT, S3)*

Grade 8 or Lower

Grade 7 or Lower

Grade 6 or Lower

Grade 5 or Lower

Grade 4 or Lower

Grade 3 or Lower

 

*If you’re registering a team from the Roots Youth Soccer League or Pioneer Valley Junior Soccer League please select the age group that matches your team’s grade year (PVJSL & RYSL do not have combined grade teams). We will do our best to make sure all teams competing in the divisions are similar in grade.

RECREATIONAL TEAMS

RT: a team which was formed in a random nature without regard to players’ abilities

 

SELECT TEAMS

(teams formed by a selection or tryout process):

S3: generally a team which competes in a local area or state

 

Based on recommendations from Mass Youth Soccer, the town division will have three age/grade groups (grades 3-4, grades 5-6 and grades 7-8). If you’re a team registering from the Pioneer Valley Junior Soccer League or the Roots Youth Soccer League, please select the age group that matches your team’s grade year (PVJSL & RYSL do not have combined grade teams). We will do our best to make sure all teams competing in the divisions are similar in grade.

 

While playing for more than one team is strongly discouraged, a player may appear on the rosters of two teams in the same age group as long as they are not in the same flight nor bracket, subject to the approval of the coaches of both teams AND one of the player’s parents. In the event of conflicting game schedules, a player appearing on multiple rosters may only play for one of the teams. Guest players may only appear on one roster.

 

Game Scheduling

Qualifying and playoff games will be played on Saturday and Sunday. Coaches may coach more than one team as long as each team has a different, credentialed Assistant Coach. Within 1 week of acceptance into the tournament, coaches may request special consideration as to when their teams’ games are played. The Tournament Committee will endeavor to accommodate all reasonable requests; however, once the schedule has been published, no further changes will be made (unless a team drops out, field conditions change, or other issues come up that require a schedule change).

 

Officiating

Qualified officials will officiate each game. All games for both 9V9 and 11V11 will be officiated by 1 head referee and 2 assistant referees. However, the availability of qualified referees might necessitate the use of fewer linesmen at some games. The Commonwealth Soccer Classic has a Zero Tolerance Policy in effect for the duration of the tournament.

 

Game Length/Team Colors

Subject to weather and other conditions beyond the control of the Tournament Committee, each team entering the tournament is guaranteed 4 matches (unless a team forfeits).

 

> Birth Year divisions (U9 - U10) and Grade Based division (3rd - 4th) matches shall be 50 minutes in length (two 25 minute halves) with one 5 minute half time interval.

 

> Birth Year divisions (U11 - U12) and Grade Based division (5th - 6th) matches shall be 60 minutes in length (two 30 minute halves) with one 5 minute half time interval.

 

> Birth Year divisions (U13 - U14) and Grade Based division (7th - 8th) matches shall be 70 minutes in length (two 35 minute halves) with one 5 minute half time interval.

 

There will be no time extension for substitutions, balls out of play, or injuries – the play clock will run continuously. At the conclusion of the game, both coaches and the referee will sign the scorecard attesting to the game score. Game lengths for the championship games will remain one hour in length. If any game is terminated upon the completion of at least one half of play, the score at the time will stand and the game will be considered official.

 

Teams named first in the schedule will be considered the home team. In the event of a uniform color conflict, the home team must change color.

Heading

According to US Soccer’s official rules, teams playing in U9/U10/U11 or Grades 3-5 throughout the tournament CANNOT head the ball deliberately. Infraction – if a player deliberately strikes the ball with his/her head, then an indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team. If this infraction occurs within the goal box, then the indirect free kick shall be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

 

Weather

In the case of inclement weather, every attempt will be made to play all scheduled games in the tournament. At the sole discretion of the tournament committee, some games may be declared a 0-0 tie, and will not be rescheduled. We will, however, make an effort to reschedule all cancelled games. The following priority will be given when making up games:

 

  1. Teams that have not yet played a game in the tournament

  2. Teams that have only played one game in the tournament

  3. Games that will have a material impact on the final standings

  4. All other games

* All play is considered final if games cannot be scheduled for a makeup.

 

If inclement weather affects your game, and results in a rescheduling by the tournament, the rescheduled time and field location provided by the tournament then become final. Failure to play the game will result in immediate forfeit.

 

LIGHTNING POLICY

At the first visible sign of lightning (regardless of the estimated distance from the field) all play will be stopped and players and spectators will be asked to move to a safe location. For all games that were in progress the game clock will continue to run. If time runs out and the game was at or past half time when play was stopped the result at the time of play being stopped will stand. If 5 minutes or less remain in the first half and the score has 2 or more goal differential the game will be declared final.  If the game had not reached 5 minutes or less before half time (in other words 24 minutes or less have played) every attempt will be made to make up the game at a later date and time. Play will not resume until 30 minutes after the last visible lightning is seen (regardless of the estimated distance from the field). When play is resumed the scheduled game closest to the time play is to resume will begin. For example if play is stopped at 2:50 pm and restarted at 5:20 pm the teams scheduled to play closest to 5:20 pm will play, NOT the teams scheduled to play at 2:50 pm. Every attempt will be made to make up the 2:50 pm game at a later date and time. When play is stopped or resumed due to lightning it is at the sole discretion of the referees and the tournament committee and strict adherence to the above policy will be enforced by the referees and tournament officials. No appeals will be allowed. Personal safety is the number one concern of the tournament and it will supersede any game situation. If weather prior to or during, curtails or cancels the tournament every reasonable attempt will be made to assure teams play but no refunds will be given.

 

Substitutions

Eligible players from the roster shall be allowed to substitute for players on the field subject to the permission and signal of the referee. Substitutions may be made during any stoppage of play subject to the referee’s discretion. With less than 2 minutes of play remaining in the game, substitutions can be made solely at the referee’s discretion.

 

In the event of a cautioning, only the player(s) cautioned may be substituted for (not mandatory). The opposing team is entitled to an equal number of substitutions at this time. In the event of an injury on the field, both teams may substitute freely.

 

Maximum Goal Differential

During qualifying matches, in the event of a strongly one-sided game, the maximum goal differential that will be recorded is 4 goals, even if the margin of victory was greater than 4.

 

Forfeits

All teams are expected to be at the appropriate field at the time of their scheduled kickoff. In the event of a team not appearing at the scheduled time, a 1-0 victory may be awarded to the opponent. This victory may be awarded after consultation with, and at the discretion of, the referees and the tournament committee. All decisions made by these committees are final. Any team that does not participate in 3 games will be ineligible for the playoffs. 

 

Advancement to Championship Play

Section winners are determined by the total points earned within their section. Points will be awarded on the following basis:

> Win = 3 points

> Tie = 1 point

> Loss = 0 points

 

TIE BREAKERS

In the event of teams being equal in points within their groups after the qualifying games, advancement to championship play will be determined according to the following:

1. Head to Head

2. Most Wins

3. Goal Differential (Maximum of +/- 4 goals per game)

4. Most Goals For, Maximum of (5) goals per game

5. Goals Against, Maximum of (5) goals per game

6. Most Shutouts

 

In the case of a tie between more than two teams, the above rules will be applied until one team is eliminated The process will repeat (starting with #1 each time) until one team is left. If a winner cannot be determined by listed procedure, then the following procedure will be used:

 

Knockout competition under the supervision of the Referees’ Committee according to the “Taking of kicks from the penalty mark” procedures. Upon agreement of both coaches, the Referees’ Committee and the Tournament Committee, a coin toss may be substituted for a knock out competition. 

 

playoffs

Birth Year U11-U14 and Grade Based 5-6 and 7-8 teams will be eligible to play in a Championship game. Championship games will take place on Sunday. The overtime period will NOT be Sudden Death or Golden Goal, and will be played to completion. In the event of a tie after the two equal overtime periods of 5 minutes, a best-of-five Penalty Kick shootout shall take place, in which teams will alternate players. If necessary, additional rounds will take place until a winner is decided. All eligible players must attempt a kick before any player may attempt a second kick.

 

If a qualifying team fails to show up for the championship game, then the Tournament Committee shall determine the most highly qualified team, based upon record, to take their place. All games are subject to being shortened by the Tournament Committee due to weather or other circumstances which may cause for postponement or cancellation. In the event of game-altering circumstances, the Tournament Committee will exercise all reasonable options to ensure that the championship games are played to completion. However, at the discretion of the referees and the Tournament Committee, we cannot guarantee the completion of the championship games.

Player Safety

All referees and coaches are expected to use their best judgment when determining which players are physically capable to perform. Coaches are expected to keep off players who have sustained injuries either before or during the tournament. It is up to the referee to decide if a player must leave the playing field due to injury. In the event of a head injury, the match will be stopped immediately and the player must be escorted off of the field to follow the concussion protocol determined by the Tournament Safety Committee and an Athletic Trainer. A player who has sustained a head injury must remain out for the remained of the match, and will not be permitted to resume play until they have been cleared by a licensed medical professional. There will be athletic trainers and medically licensed staff spread around the tournament facilities. If you have any concerns about a potential injury, please inform the referee/coach immediately so that the match may stop and the injured player can be inspected.

 

In the event of an injury, it is the duty of the referee to remove the player from the field of play. Any further action is the duty of the coach and the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) of the player. Disruption by parents/coaches who challenge the judgment of the referees and insist on returning an injured/dangerous player to the game will result in the termination of the match.

 

DANGEROUS ITEMS

The referee will determine which items/accessories are considered dangerous and must be taken off prior to play. Examples of unsafe items include (but are not limited to) jewelry, hats, faulty cleats, braces, and splints. Players are prohibited from wearing a cast of any kind, as they are considered dangerous both for the player and his/her opponents. There is no precedent for unsafe items, and the decision is made each game solely by the referees and the Tournament Committee.

 

Player Deportment

In order to be eligible for play, players’ shirts must be tucked inside shorts. Shin guards must be firmly in place and covered by socks. Any additional attire or accessories must be cleared with the Tournament Committee prior to the tournament. Otherwise, they will be asked to remove/cover the additional accoutrements. Once again, the referees and the Tournament Committee will be the sole deciders of what is and isn’t permitted in accordance with safety policies and tournament regulations.

 

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

Matters involving the conduct of a team—including players, coaches, parents, and supporters—will be recorded and reported to the home state association and the home or club league of which the team is a member. These matters include (but are not limited to) the issuance of yellow and red cards, arguments with the referee, physical altercations, and disruptive behavior. If a player or coach is ejected from a game, they will be ineligible to participate in the following game*.

*Knockout, or a similar scheduled activity is not considered a game

 

There is absolutely no tolerance for abuse or assault at the Commonwealth Soccer Classic, and such offenses will result in immediate suspension from the tournament upon the review of the incident by the referees and/or Tournament Committee. If necessary, the Tournament Committee will inform the MYSA or home state of the incident so that further action may be taken. We ask that all players, coaches, and fans promote a positive and supportive environment during the Commonwealth Soccer Classic. Coaches are seen as responsible for the conduct of the players and fans, and will be held accountable for their actions. We thank you for your support in creating a civil yet competitive environment.

 

FIELD MARSHALS

Field marshals will be present at all fields throughout the duration of the tournament. We remind all participants that these field marshals have the authority and right to remove any spectator seen as unruly or uncivil from the tournament.

 

PROTESTS

No protests will be considered or recognized during the tournament. We ask that all participants refrain from partaking in these protests, as they may be seen as unruly or uncivilized and result in removal from the tournament.

 

Refund Policy

If a team is not granted entry into the tournament, their entry fee will be refunded in full. If a team withdraws after being accepted, their entry fee is considered forfeited. If a team within your bracket withdraws, and prevents teams from playing in the guaranteed 4 games, a partial refund will be granted to those teams. Partial refunds are NOT available to teams that have forfeited a match, or have awarded an automatic victory due to the forfeiture of the opposing team.

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© 2019 by COMMONWEALTH SOCCER CLASSIC